CHATEAU PALMER > 1981

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Characteristics of the vintage

Flowering was even thanks to ideal weather conditions and although July was cold and damp, fine weather then set in and continued up to harvest time, leading everyone to believe this would be an excellent vintage.

Unfortunately, picking was interrupted by two periods of rain that resulted in some dilution.

1981 was a very good if not great vintage. The wines are often described as “classic”, having good colour, balance and medium body.

Harvest dates: from 10/01/1981 to 10/12/1981

Blend

Cabernet Sauvignon: 54%
Merlot: 37%
Petit Verdot: 7%
Cabernet Franc: 2%

Ageing potential

2015+. To drink now.

Tasting

Tasting notes from Enrico Bernardo, 12/01/2011:

Garnet-red colour with some bricking.
Bouquet reminiscent of an old humid cellar, cigar box, game birds, blackberry jam, and ceps.
Candied cherry notes appear with aeration.
Soft with round tannin on the palate. Delicious, complex, and generous aftertaste.

Tasting notes from Georges Lepré, 02/04/2009:

Moderately dense, the ruby color has slowly evolved to show tinges of mahogany.

The bouquet is acceptably intense, based on jammy black fruits, with notes of mocha, smoke, mild spices and mint.

The mouth confirms the wine's progression. It's all melted together: clean fruit, excellent freshness, and subtle, elegant tannins. Distinguished and delicate, the finish is measured, true, but very flavorful.

This wine will be at its height until 2010. It should be decanted only if there is sediment, immediately before serving.

Press Review

Private tasting, Dave Guimond, 11/01/2000
« I wanted to have a nice mature Bordeaux as my last wine for 2 months. This had been in my cellar for 16 years. The fill was right where the bottle meets the neck. Although the wine was made on earth, the boquet that greeted me as I poured it into the decanter was indeed heavenly. This wine was classic. Magnificent perfume. Smooth as silk. Plush as velvet. Perfectly balanced. Subtley complex. The very essence of Margaux as described in the textbooks. Not a huge wine, but with plenty of fruit left and all tannin resolved. Very elegant and refined. Just a joy to drink. The last 1981 in my cellar, and a testament to a good vintage that was largely ignored due to the subsequent one.  »

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